Thursday, 15 May 2008

Space and the Woods... again?

Do we really need more of this track. i know it's genius, but it was so overplayed around a year/6 months ago that, frankly, it became the low point of their set for me. The one track the few people that used to turn up to their gigs that everyone knew, before they turned into record label gold, left me lagging for bigger, better and less well kown tracks like The Bears Are Coming, Bathroom Gurgle, Heartbeat, Flicker, Line and opener, Broken.

Still, enough bitching, it's still one of the greatest pop songs to be released this decade, and by four, slightly odd (though lovely) skinny chaps from outside Nottingham. Very bizarre.

Anyhow, it's impending re-release (yes, re-release. Way Out West put it out on 7" over a year ago. limited to 500 copies it sold out rather quickly, honestly, try getting your hands on one of those. Very hard, i was lucky at the time i think) has seen a plethora of new remixes. I think there was well over ten this time last year, most of which were... bad. So i' wasn't optimistic about this new lot. And, if i'm honest, i feel this pecimism is justified. Far beyond my place be it to critisise fidgit house's joint overlord (let's not forget it's founder, Jesse Rose people) but Switch's mix, while being one of the better one's lacks everything that makes a Switch remix so good. Lacking are the stabbing beats, pulsating base lines (for the most part) and jackin' fidgit synths and superb and sparing use of the vocal line. If you want to hear him at his best, go investigate his Mystery Jets, Radioclit or Ben Westbeech remixes. They absolutely kill it. This does not.


Better, is Primary 1's bizarre and psychodelic, slowed down, take on it which will be perfect for weirding you out on you post night out comedown. Pretty genius in some respects this is definitely my pick of the bunch.

See what you think, anyhow.

Late Of The Pier - Space and the Woods (Switch Remix)

Late Of The Pier - Space and the Woods (Primary 1 remix)

Plimsouls has also blessed us with some of his new tracks, including... yeah. you guessed it, a Mystery Jets remix. Delving darker than he has before, the young Bristolian embraces the more minimal side of electro, abandoning some his more traditional 8-bit-esque blips and bleeps in favour of a deeper, more haunting sound that would fare well with the more hardcore among us on Fabric dance floors when it's reached that hour when you can only look at watch ironically, as it's so late in the morning it's beyond being funny. Or, put more simply, I like!

Plimsouls - Ah!

And that's me done for the moment as i have to bolt down some dinne rand see my buddies in Operahouse be better than The Duke Spirit at Proud Galleries in Camden (though, admittedly, Lloyd is not such an alluring frontwoman).



Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Post Year Years @ Durrr

Wow, I swear that either this band have written a load of new songs since I last saw them in September or they’ve developed a speed habit and a nervous twitch to boot, either way their live show has developed in leaps and bonds since the first and last times I’ve seen them. Coming across like Foals if they’d spent their youth listening to The Blood Brothers more angular works and drinking way, way too much coffee. This is, of course is good thing and results in songs so sharp standing near the stage becomes a scary proposition. Then the first song finishes and a more traditional set up appears (at this point they’ve been playing with two basses, a roland sample box and a drummer), though adding guitars into the equation simply adds to the complexity of the song writing, the angular jerkiness of the music and the movements of the band and ups the noise levels even higher. Two songs in and I am one happy young man, even after a nightmare train journey back from Cambridge meaning I nearly missed the gig, but all is well again at this point.

About two thirds of the way trough the set the frontman seems to cut his finger open and a kind young lady in the audience reaches into her bag and passes him a plaster which he duly places his on his injured finger, noting that it’s not rock and roll unless the blood is streaming from head down you arms and over your t-shirt. Frankly, what’s rock and roll about running you equipment with your own blood when you’re an up and coming band is beyond me so I’m very much down with plasters for frontmen.
Things all carry on as, what I guess can only be described as, normal for the rest of the set, until they start to wrap up the set and pull out big guns “You and Me Both” and “The Black Morning” (I think this is right) which gets the lethargic, post-bank holiday crowd raising hands in the air, singing along and dancing around. A fine achievement I feel, as before I walked in I wasn’t even sure if I wasn’t going to sit in a heap in a corner of The End and feel sorry for myself until Post War Years Came on.

Simply, this youthful bunch make great use of their obvious talent , frequently swapping between guitars, sample, synths and keys and utilising tri-vocal harmonies I feel that it’s not going to be long before this band breaks the realms of merely being a god band and do something truly special as Foals (not an ideal, but, I feel, a just comparison) as recently. If you get the chance, go and see them play at The Social in London this Thursday as you might just discover something rather exciting.

Post War Years Myspace




The Herbaliser return

Herbaliser Micro Site

Ok, so I’ve never been to sure about my stance on The Herbaliser. I’ve always had a respect for the fact that they’re clearly talented fellows with a number of highly regarded albums under their belt. However, at the same time I’ve grown up to associate them with sitting in smoky rooms rooms with bunch of fools giggling to themselves. Perhaps, then, you can understand why I was a little sceptical when venturing into the realms of their fifth album, Same As It Never Was. I was greeted with a nice surprise in that listening to a few of the tracks from the album I was surrounded by lush melodies , blessed out soul and funky beats, the like of which would have made Blackalicious circa 2001 jealous.

Having had guest spots from such luminary rappers as Roots Manuva and MF Doom on previous outputs, one of the big differences on the fifth LP is the use of but a single vocalist in the form of London’s Jessica Darling. Which has turned out to be quite the decision as her voice seems to complement everything that Jake and Ollie (aka The Herbaliser) have laid down the new record. They’ve also relinquished a little of their creative control and collaborated more on the record with Ralph Lamb and Andy Ross, resulting in The Herbaliser becoming a quintet at the core, to all intensive purposes.

Never ones to stick to conventions, Jake and Ollie have, throughout their career, constantly tried to innovate Hip-Hop away from the standard beats/sample/rap format that so many stick with to this day (some who take the formula and make it sound magnificent and some who com across like the brothers of Jal on Skins). A task at which they have once again succeeded with here, blending mixtures of R&B, funk, Jazz, Soul, early electro and more in the melting pot to create a sound sound so fresh and breezy you’ll be hard pushed to find anything else you want to listen to on an afternoon in the sun with your friends, One to watch out for.

The Herbaliser - You're Not All That feat. Jessica Darling

Released 26th May 2008.




Thursday, 1 May 2008


Been listening to a lot of Invasion recently as they're one of the most exciting bands in the UK right now. Absolutely stunning live show. Basically, Invasion are bring the thrash to 2008.

Five songs, nine minutes. That’s what you see when you load this into your itunes. Immediately I’m thinking, this must be fast and too the point. I’m right., though admittedly I have the advantage of having seen them live twice. This ep is really quite something, coming across like the bastard child of Slayer, Black Sabbath and some wailing ‘70’s soul. Opening track “Moongazer” starts up with a menacing riff before the drums pound in and the verse rolls. Then the chorus drops. From here on out things go mad, the distortion kicks in the vocals are belted out by their frontwoman and it all sounds… well, incredible. Three Gold Dragons, probably my pick of the bunch is one minute and twenty three minutes of stop start thrash that leaves you breathless and gasping for more, while the rest of the record does little to let you stand back and get that much needed breath of air (you might pinch it at the start of Battle Control if you’re lucky…). Then it’s over and all you do is dash to your record collection (or store if you don’t own a copy) for “reign In Blood” which is one of the few records that’ll give you the same visceral rush. Alternatively, go check out their stunning live show. It quite something, it truly is. Essential.

Invasion - Six Red Wizards

Invasion Three Gold Dragons




....And after the war, they came.


So, i've been checking out this new band, Post War Years recently. A few of you Nottingham people might know them from when they played just over a year ago up at the Social for Care In The Community. I think a good starting point for sound is Mystery Jets, though this lot are more experimental with big synth lines rolling through over tight, angular guitar rhythms. Not bad at all if you ask me. Well worth a look in.

They've also supported Late Of The Pier in London (reckon you know them), and are laying at Erol Alkan's Trash replacement night Durrr this Bank Holiday Monday then at The Social (the London one) on Thursday afterwards. I think either of these would be well worth a look in to catch a band that are going to be making waves this year. Catch while they're small so you can say you were there at the start (i made the same comment about Late Of the Pier around a year ago, you know i'm right!). So, yeah, hope to see you at one of the shows.

To top it off, just for you, we have the video for Black Morning:

And a grat track of theirs, You And Me Both:

Post War Years - You And Me Both

Check 'em.